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Author: Alankar Karpe

VMO Or PMO: How To Choose One for your Org

Defining PMO and VMO

A project management office (PMO) is a group, or functional unit, that sets, maintains, and enforces the practices, policies, and standards for structuring and executing projects within an organization.

 

According to the Project Management Institute (PMI), a PMO is essential for enterprises seeking to centralize and coordinate the management of projects throughout their life cycles.

The Value Management Office (VMO) is an organizational function responsible for facilitating the Lean Portfolio Management process and for fostering operational excellence and lean governance as part of a Lean-Agile transformation.

Value management office (VMO) is an agile inspired function which came into existence after the focus shifted from project outcomes to Value creation. Traditionally PMO are aimed at completion of projects within triple constraints. But what if they fail to add any significant value to the organization? The shift from PMO to VMO is a shift in focus from managing projects to maximizing value across the organization.

Establishing a Value Management Office is an outcome focused which enables agility by leveraging small and easy controls. It is focused more on individuals and their interactions to generate value delivered to customers in the quickest time as compared to PMO which is more process driven and not the quickest of the lot.

 

 

Value Management Office (VMO):

  • Focus on Value Realization: The primary focus of a VMO is to ensure that the organization maximizes the value it receives from its investments, initiatives, and projects. It is concerned with the strategic alignment and value delivery of projects and programs.
  • Strategic Alignment: VMOs work closely with senior leadership to align projects and initiatives with the organization’s strategic objectives. They prioritize projects that contribute the most to achieving strategic goals.
  • Benefits Management: VMOs are responsible for defining, tracking, and realizing the expected benefits and value from projects and programs. They establish key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure value delivery.
  • Risk Management: VMOs assess and manage risks related to value delivery, ensuring that projects are on track to achieve their intended benefits and making adjustments as necessary.
  • Portfolio Management: VMOs often oversee the entire project and program portfolio, ensuring that resources are allocated to initiatives that provide the greatest value. They may also make decisions about project funding and continuation.

 

Project Management Office (PMO):

  • Focus on Project Execution: PMOs primarily focus on the successful planning, execution, and delivery of projects. They ensure that projects are completed on time, within budget, and according to scope.
  • Project Methodology: PMOs establish and enforce project management methodologies, standards, and best practices within the organization. They provide guidance and tools to project managers.
  • Resource Management: PMOs are responsible for resource allocation and capacity planning, ensuring that the right people with the right skills are assigned to projects.
  • Project Governance: PMOs oversee project governance, including project initiation, risk management, issue resolution, and project reporting. They ensure compliance with project management standards.
  • Project Documentation: PMOs maintain project documentation, including project plans, schedules, budgets, and status reports. They often facilitate project reviews and lessons learned sessions.

 

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VMO or PMO?

Here are some of the factors which affect the organization to choose between PMO or VMO.

    • Maturity of project management
    • Primary objective of the organization
    • Overall authority of the PM
    • Strategic alignment of the project

 

Here are some key considerations to help your organization to choose between a PMO to VMO:

  1. Understand the key differences between a PMO and a VMO: A PMO focuses on managing projects and ensuring they are delivered on time, within budget, and to scope. A VMO, on the other hand, focuses on maximizing value across the organization by aligning projects and initiatives with the overall business strategy.
  2. Align your VMO with the organization’s strategy: To maximize value, a VMO has to be aligned with the organization’s overall strategy. This requires a deep understanding of the organization’s goals and objectives, as well as an understanding of how each project or an initiative contributes to those goals. On the other hand, PMO sometimes does not goes into that strategic level, instead it achieves the goal of successful completion of project within the triple constraint.
  3. Develop a value framework: A value framework is a set of criteria used to assess the value of projects and initiatives. It can include factors such as ROI, strategic alignment, risk, and stakeholder satisfaction. Developing a value framework will help ensure that the VMO is focused on maximizing value across the organization.
  4. Communicate the value of the VMO: Transitioning from a PMO to a VMO requires buy-in from stakeholders across the organization. It’s important to communicate the value which a VMO can bring and how it will help the organization achieve its goals. Since VMO operates on the strategic level, stakeholders’ involvement and their buy ins is very high.
  5. Build a team with the right skills: The skills required for a VMO are different from those required for a PMO. A VMO requires people with strong business acumen, strategic thinking skills, and the ability to influence and communicate effectively. Make sure to build a team with the right set of skills to support the transition.
  6. Focus on continuous improvement: A VMO is not a static entity, and it requires continuous improvement to maximize value. Regularly review and refine the value framework, assess the effectiveness of the VMO, and look for ways to improve processes and procedures

The purpose of PMO and VMO are different, but organizations can choose to function with one or both depending on their needs, maturity and their overall objectives.

 

References:
  1. https://scaledagileframework.com/blog/glossary_term/agile-program-management-office/
  2. The Rise of Value Management Office (pwc.com)
  3. https://agilemanagementoffice.com/value-management-office-vs-project-management-office-whats-the-difference/
  4. https://scottambler.com/what-i-do/presentation-from-pmo-to-value-management-offices/
  5. https://www.projectmanagement.com/webinars/799732/transforming-the-pmo-into-a-vmo–value-management-office
  6. https://www.pmsolutions.com/articles/Project_Management_2022_Research_Report.pdf

 

About the Authors:

Girish Devapura, PMP, CSM, Prince 2, SAFe 6 Agilist works as Associate Practice Partner and Cloud Transformation Program Manager with Wipro, India. He is an Engineer and working as IT professional with Practice Management, People Management, Program Management and Delivery Management experience of more than 22 years.

 

Alankar Karpe, PMP, PMI-ACP, SAFe 6 Agilist has 20+ years of experience in Program and project management, Strategic management, Business consulting & research. He is working with Wipro, India as a Program Manager in Bangalore, India. He has a postgraduate diploma in management and Master certificate in Business analysis from George Washington University.

 

Social Networking Changing the Business Propositions

Social networking has changed the traditional communication channels in today’s era of tablets and smartphones. This has created different ways for project managers to manage projects, collaborate in real time, and find solutions quickly by going through the problems.

A social network is a social structure made up of a set of actors including individuals and/or organizations and the dyadic ties between these actors. The social network perspective provides a clear way of analyzing the structure of whole social entities. The study of these structures uses social network analysis to identify local and global patterns, locate influential entities, and examine network dynamics.

IT has assisted marketing, administration, and business operations with their implementations of social networking and various media including websites such as Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook. Now we have some ways to make social-style communications deliver value to the IT department.

Major IT work challenges continue to revolve around project management, resourcing, technical problem resolution and consultation, accuracy and timeliness of information, and the responsibility of running round-the-clock operations. This is where social network comes in handy and provides opportunities such as peer-to-peer networking, quick communicating, gathering required information, and idea sharing.

Here is a brief description of how social networking is adding value in managing projects, getting updates quickly and keeping the information as contemporary as possible.

  1. PM Tools on the cloud
    With the increasing needs of teams located at multiple locations, in different time zones and countries, it has become a necessity to evolve the new version of cloud-based project management and use social networking as a way to collaborate at the workplace. Frustrated with desktop versions of project management software, more companies are moving to cloud-based project management, which allows everyone to key in their tasks, due dates, and status. Project team members can also collaborate online through social networking to resolve project problems and roadblocks. Some companies are seeing a 2x improvement in the number of projects they can complete each year. There are tools available on cloud such as CA Clarity, which makes the PM’s job easier to track the progress of the project from virtually anywhere. 
  2. Meetings – The Agile way
    The agile way of managing customers is increasing more and more due to an increase in flux in the internal as well as external environment, hence project managers are mostly managing small chunks of work. This requires daily meetings with the entire team for a small duration where all project team members gather, report on status, identify problems, and then collectively resolve these issues as a group. For globally scattered teams in today’s era, where people are spread across the globe, social media comes handy. These meetings are now happening on Facebook chat instead of closed conference rooms. Teams are even using advanced tools like SKYPE for conferencing using webcams. YouTube has even been used to upload a recording of the meeting for private use by team members at other locations.
  3. Picking up gems – Selective hiring 
    Talent acquisition has never been so effortless and cost-effective. This can happen both ways where you can go to a suitable and prospective candidate and offer what they want to do. Sites like LinkedIn give you easy access to this unlimited talent pool across geographical locations where you can not only read what they do best but also what people say about their work. You can also make them come to you. Some companies organize half-day technical conferences across India. These technical conferences can be sponsored by your company. By the virtue of title sponsorship, your company has exclusive access to the entire attendee database where you can start your recruitment process. The conference is based on technologies for which you have manpower requirements. You meet candidates that you may have never known through job sites or HR consultants. You get first-hand opportunities to interact with them, saving you time, money, energy and resources. 
  4. Mobile collaboration and problem resolution for the help desk in the field
    For years, IT has wrestled with help desk and support personnel having to be out in the field, losing time on travel. Now, mobile technology equips them to log the status of their calls instantaneously into the system, pick up help requests from the queue, and even collaborate with each other in groups to solve technical problems. A presentation or a video stating the problem receives more and faster responses, and leads to much better productivity for organizations.
  5. Using the cloud for R&D forums
    As more sites opt for cloud-resident and third-party applications, it’s equally important to ensure that vendors continue to evolve their solutions to meet the changing needs of their corporate clients. Social network forums on vendor products give enterprise IT an opportunity to weigh in on the next set of functions and features it would like to see in a vendor’s offering.

    A social network allows independent researchers, specialists and other skilled people to upload and share their research and findings to a community of users with interests in similar topics. Users in turn benefit by being able to gain from the experience of others.

  6. Prototyping, demo and joint testing
    Users (and various IT specialists) aren’t always available at the same time to model a new application prototype or to kick the tires and perform testing on applications getting ready for production. By networking through a social media forum, they can leave their comments and test results on the network where everyone can view and act on them. The technique promotes 360-degree checkouts and signoffs on new applications without someone in IT administration trying to keep track of it all.
  7. Collaboration with other companies on common IT problems
    Although companies might compete on end products and services, their internal IT departments face many of the same problems. These issues include understanding how to implement a new industry regulation in enterprise code and how to meet certain IT “green” and sustainability standards. Social networking is a great avenue for organizational exchanges and committee work that helps ITers from many organizations join forces to overcome a common challenge.
  8. Public forums for quick problem solving
    A combination of technical resources and social networking sites are now so good that most IT technical staff (especially in areas like network administration) go to these forums first to find answers to elusive technical problems. This pays off in a major way, as many vendor telephone help lines are actually orchestrated to discourage calls and sometimes don’t work at all.

    Social networking grows at a phenomenal rate where individuals leverage the connections they establish within the social network to achieve broader common objectives to discuss a particular new problem, any new findings on an old issue, or share a new experience.

  9. Instant messaging and spontaneous meet
    With a social networking concept, techniques like instant messaging have grown into instant meetings. Experts from diverse IT disciplines can be brought together in real time to work out a real-time problem, thanks to the flexibility inherent in Internet-based apps and today’s mobile communications. Not only are the technologies, changing but people are also adapting to this kind of new lifestyle where the customer is considered “the king.” It is important to provide an immediate solution to a real-time problem, irrespective of the time zone or global location.
  10. “Follow the sun” services
    More enterprises are deploying IT experts in diverse geographical locations to solve the age-old problem of remote facilities having to wait until the corporate office opens to solve a production problem. Companies are not just spreading out their IT workforces. They are also using social networking principles, so that if a problem can’t be solved in its entirety within a normal workday at one site, all the data, work, and communications that have gone into the problem are documented in a social networking work area so that the next “shift” of IT staff in a different geographical zone can take over the issue. The strategy speeds time to problem resolution and engages the right people until a solution is put in place.
  11. Shared data repositories and documentation pools
    By maintaining a common data repository for a given project, problem, or other IT matter on a corporate social network that staff from anywhere at any time can contribute to and access, companies avoid confusion and misinformation because everyone is working from the same set of data. These social networking information repositories are usually implemented on corporate intranets or via Internet through a cloud services provider.
  12. Social Network Marketing
    Social media has become a platform that is easily accessible to anyone with Internet access. Increased communication for organizations fosters brand awareness and often improved customer service. Additionally, social media serves as a relatively inexpensive platform for organizations to implement marketing campaigns. Social networking allows individuals to interact with one another and build relationships. This requires a completely different strategy to provide a detailed specification of the product, catchy headlines, interesting materials to interact with the customer, and more importantly, converting satisfied customers into brand advocates.

Don’t forget to leave your comments below.

References:
1) Mary Shacklett, 10 Social Media Methodologies That Are Changing How it Works, September 20, 2012
2) Peopleware, India, Article: Recruitment through conference, October 2012
3) Wikipedia – List of Social Networking Websites, accessed 4th December 2012
4) Daniel Goleman, Social and Emotional Learning, Web Rage: Why It Happens, What It Costs You, How to Stop, Posted June 19, 2007
5) Website:  Classification of social media, accessed 4th December 2012
6) Website Social Media Marketing

About the Authors

AlankarAlankar Karpe, PMP is Services Project Manager for CA Technologies. Alankar has overall experience of thirteen years and has worked for over ten years in the project management domain in the areas of Strategic management, PMO, tool deployment and Service delivery projects. He is working with CA Technologies at present and managing PPM projects across various geographies including NA, EMEA and APJ. 
Alankar is a certified Project management professional from PMI and holds Master’s certificate in Business Analysis from ESI & George Washington University, USA.
You can contact him directly at [email protected]

AtulAtul Gupta, PMP, CSM is Team Lead Delivery Services CA Technologies. Atul has overall 6 years of experience in Project and Program Management. Except for the project deliveries, Atul has also worked as PMO Manager to setup PMO Office. Atul is currently working on CA Clarity PPM tool with CA and provides PPM consultancy to its clients.
You can contact him directly at [email protected]